Saturday, May 16, 2015

Changing Churches: A View From the Pew

• Are you a "church hopper" or thinking of becoming one? • Do you look down on Christians who change churches? • Did you know that 76% of "church switchers" are devout Christians? • Do you wonder about vast changes in church? • Do you wonder what will bring church unity and transformation? Changing Churches describes, through the eyes of one couple, the difficult journey that "church switchers" travel-a journey often precipitated by disruptive church changes. The book encourages Christ-like transformative change in churches rather than man-devised makeovers. As you read you will learn about: • The right reasons to leave a church. • How to manage the pain and angst of leaving a familiar church. • How to search for another church-the anxiety and adventure. • How to handle conflict between spouses about leaving and searching. • How to find the new church that fits you and fits God's plan for you. Changing Churches is helpful in understanding the sweeping changes in churches and what we can do to build up the church.

My Review: First of all, I want to say that I did like the last section of the book more than I did the first. My initial impression brought to mind people I know who are constantly complaining. I am not saying that they don't have legitimate reasons, but I don't understand why someone remains somewhere that they obvious dislike. Part of my lack of understanding is probably due to the fact that the first half of my life involved a lot of moving; I simply don't have emotional attachments to a particular church, school, etc. The other is due to a church split due to people who were extraordinarily attached to the building, yet held a lot of resentment toward the preaching, the music, the increased attendance, etc. So, while I did understand reasons Mrs. Parish wanted to leave each church, I guess I simply don't understand the emails and drama attached. To her credit, she did stick with some of them longer than I would have, but it came across like she was upset because the churches weren't following her personal preferences. 

But, the later half of the book went more into the reasons for leaving in a more factual, impersonal way that was more helpful (in my view) for those considering changing churches and gave a fuller insight into the church as a family from the lay persons view on to the pastor's responsibilities and needs. There are many reasons for leaving a particular church, but as Mrs. Parish herself suggests, this is a something that should be done prayerfully. I even understood better about discussing it with the pastor, especially if you feel that a false doctrine is being taught. This is a book that goes into detail and one you may want to consider purchasing if you are having doubts about whether you should be seeking another church.

Disclaimer: I'm a part of the CWA Review Crew and I received a copy of this book at no cost to myself in exchange for my honest opinion.

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